École Normale Supérieure, Paris
Pensionnaire étrangère, Bourse d’accueil
ENS Fellowship for Foreign Students
(updated November 2013)
A one-year fellowship for Smith College graduates
in the humanities and social sciences
at one of France’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
Eligibility Requirements
Who can apply?
 Seniors and alumnae (up to 2 years after graduation) whom a member of the
department of French Studies has agreed to sponsor. Normally, the sponsor
will have taught the applicant at the advanced level.
When to begin application process:
 Before October 15 of their senior year, interested students will seek
sponsorship from a member of the department of French Studies (usually the
teacher with whom they are currently taking a French course)
 Register with Smith Fellowship Office by 15 October to begin application
process. See tips on writing an effective résumé; include advanced FRN
courses and projects relevant to field of proposed study. See instructions at
 Once approved by the Fellowship Program, students will send their
completed application to the graduate adviser of the department of French
studies by December 1st. See instructions at
(Post-)Graduate or undergraduate fellowship
 Graduate fellowship
Domestic & foreign, or fellowship abroad:
Where in the world to use:
This fellowship requires residence in Paris.
GPA and related minimums
The ENS Fellowship requires:
a) a cumulative overall GPA of at least 3.5, and a GPA in the major of at least
b) Appropriate fluency in French as certified by the department of French
Citizenship requirements:
 None
Age, school-year, other restrictions
Graduating seniors and recent graduates (up to two years after their
graduation) may apply.
Duration of the fellowship:
 One academic year, normally September to June of the year following
Nature of the fellowship:
Nature of award
 The ENS fellowship entitles a Smith graduate to:
o Free housing for the academic year (from September to June) at the
residence in the rue d'Ulm or the boulevard Jourdan;
o Access as auditor to the courses listed annually in the ENS “Lettres”
course catalogue:
o Access to the libraries at the ENS;
o Participation in the cultural activities of the ENS (at an annual fee of
60 euros); regular contact with excellent French and international
students pursuing advanced studies in a wide variety of fields ;
o The opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in the humanities or
social sciences at one of the Parisian universities.
N.B. A foreign fellow cannot receive any diploma or degree from the
ENS. To pursue an advanced degree in France, the foreign fellow must
register at one of the Parisian universities and pay all required fees
Chance of award: odds for each competition:
 Smith College awards no more than one ENS Fellowship per year.
 Applicants should work with the Career Development Office so as to ensure
that fellowship applications form part of an overall postgraduate planning
Competition criteria in judging candidates:
 Academic and professional experience as they pertain to the student’s
proposed plan of study for the senior year. During the senior year,
fellowship candidates will normally take one or two advanced courses in
French, engage in special studies in French, or prepare an honors thesis in
 The feasibility and validity of the plan of study proposed for the fellowship
year in Paris, including the necessity of carrying out the project in the French
 Evidence of maturity, motivation, and adaptability to the cultural
environment in France.
Knowledge of the French language, French culture, and evidence of the
ability and commitment to act in a small way as an ambassador in France of
Smith College and of the American educational system.
Formal application year and time of year:
 Applications are to be prepared during the fall term of the senior year.
 Completed applications must be submitted to the graduate adviser in the
department of French Studies by December 1st.
Level of Smith College sponsorship:
 Required
Reapplying for fellowship:
• Possible
Deferring fellowship:
 Not possible
Materials required for the application:
1. A full résumé of the student’s academic career.
2. A two or three-page proposal, in French or English, describing the student’s
project and plan of study and explaining the benefit the student hopes to gain
from a one-year residency at the ENS.
3. A research paper written by the applicant in French in an advanced French
course, showing the instructor’s grade, comments and corrections.
Applicants will normally submit a paper written during the senior year and
graded by a member of the French department (prior to December 1st), or, in
exceptional cases, a paper written during the junior year abroad and
corrected by a professor at the French university.
4. Two letters of recommendation or statements of support for the student and
the project: one, preferably, from a member of the French department ; one,
in French or English, from a faculty member familiar with the student’s work
in the proposed field of study.
5. Evidence of oral competence in French and intellectual engagement as
provided by the finalist’s or finalists’ interviews, in French, with two or more
members of the department of French studies.
For further information consult
 Graduate adviser in the department of French studies
 www.ens.fr

École Normale Supérieure, Paris Pensionnaire étrangère, Bourse d